November 22, 2008

TES - 2008 Hawkeye Football Game Notes Week 13

Iowa’s Record:  7-4, 4-3 Big Ten
Iowa’s Rankings
AP: 8 votes
USA Today: 6 votes
ESPN Power 16: 
ESPNU Allstate: 
HARRIS: 19 votes

2008 Iowa Football Schedule
August 30th Iowa v. Maine WIN 46-3
September 6th Iowa v. Florida International WIN 42-0
September 13th Iowa v. Iowa State WIN 17-5
September 20th Iowa @ Pittsburgh Loss 21-20
September 27th Iowa v. Northwestern Loss 22-17
October 4th Iowa @ Michigan State Loss 16-13
October 11th Iowa @ Indiana WIN 45-9
October 18th Iowa v. Wisconsin WIN 38-16
October 25th Bye Week
November 1st Iowa @ Illinois Loss 27-24
November 8th Iowa v. Penn State WIN 24-23
November 15th Iowa v. Purdue WIN 22-17
November 22nd Iowa @ Minnesota 7:05 PM, BTN
November 22nd, 2008: Iowa Hawkeyes @ Minnesota Golden Gophers 7-4, 3-4 Big Ten
Prior Games: 101, Minnesota leads 59-40-2
Last Game: 2007, Iowa 21 Minnesota 16

Current Line: Iowa -5.5

Current Turnover Margin: +3

Depth Chart for this week:

Game Watch: ‘The Best Game Watch Outside Of Kinnick.’
BLONDIES SPORTS 212 West 79th, (Broadway/Amsterdam).
1 train to 79th street, half a block east.  Several parking garages are nearby.
NOTE: If sitting on bar stools/standing for 3 hours is not ideal for you, we will be reserving a couple tables on the restaurant side of Blondies.  We will not always have Hawkeye audio on the restaurant side.

 Last Week: Purdue
The wait – was excruciating.

Seems neither side is willing to admit to screwing something up, but I should have known there might be a problem.  I have DirecTV at home, and normally the Big Ten Network games all show up early Friday on the alternate channels (until then, they say ‘Teams TBD’), but when I tired to set up my dvr to record the game Friday night, none of the game were showing up yet.  Same problem before I left for the bar Saturday morning, and I found it especially strange the guide was not even listing the Penn State game on the main Big Ten channel.
 So when all the other games came on at Noon and channel 609-1 was blank, I thought ‘oh no.’ 

And so we waited.  Until the 2:05 point of the 2nd quarter.  Thank goodness for unlimited data plans, as at least we knew the score, but boy did we miss a lot of action.

After we forced Purdue into a 5 and out to open the game, the Hawks had the ball at the 32.  Six straight rushes by Shonn move us to the Boilermaker 25. He takes a rest, Hampton for 3 and them boom, a 22-yard td for Jewel.  Green 43 yards, Hampton for 25, here is the ball Purdue and we are going to shove it down your throat. 

Mossbrucker misses the PAT.  It was cold and windy.

A few plays later the Hawks force another punt and we have the ball at our 37.  3 plays get us to midfield, but Brodell fumbles after a catch and Purdue now has the ball at their 45.

Maybe it’s good we did not see what happened in the next few minutes.  The Boilermakers convert two 4th downs as they march down field, but bad things happen to bad teams and they have not one, but two touchdowns called back.  One holding, one illegal formation (which we know all too well), the Hawks dodge a bullet and it’s now 6-3. 

Shonn takes the field.  With the ball at our 20, he runs for 5.  2nd and 5, manageable.  Greene then breaks through the line, puts a serious spin move on the Purdue secondary, and 75 yards later, Hawks lead 12-3.  And Mossbrucker again misses the PAT.  Ok, maybe something is not right in his head after last week.  He is a Division 1 football player.  Get over it and be ready to go this week.

It was the ensuing Iowa possession when the game finally came on, and our 1st visible play was – a Hawkeye punt.

The Hawks bail out Purdue with a 3rd and long pass interference call (we have been a bit too good at that lately), and 8 plays later, td, score 12-10, and the Hawks are not exactly cruising onto victory.

Ah, halftime, that is what we missed!  I think people use the break to leave more mean messages with DirecTV (BTN was not answering the phone).

Iowa takes the 2nd half kickoff all the way back to the 47, but can only muster a 45 yard field goal by Murray.  He, no hangover from last week; it’s good, Hawks 15-10.

That was pretty much it for the 3rd.  For the 2nd time the Hawks fumble it away after a completed pass (DJK this time), but no harm done as King returns the favor and Hawks get it right back at the Purdue 43.  But, a 3 and out.  So ends the 3rd.

Purdue is soon forced to punt from their goal line, it’s not deep and Andy brings it back to the Boilermaker 36.  It’s Shonn time.  14, 8, 14 touchdown.  Iowa up, 22-10.  Murray does not miss the PAT.

This was the hard part to watch.  Painter converts two more 4th downs, and his dink and dunk passes get Purdue all the way inside the Iowa 5, but Angerer snags the tipped pass and threat averted.  That’s a linebacker leading the Big Ten in picks, with 5.

Hawks go three and out, and here goes Painter again, 7 passes later it’s 22-17.  Another one down the wire, it seems.

But wait, the Iowa special teams step up, and Hampton takes the kickoff 52 yards to the Boilermaker 43!  3:40 left to go, and Shonn, lead us to victory.  4 carries later, we face a 4th and 1 at the Purdue 20.  1:13 left, timeout Hawks.  A field goal puts us up 8, and forces Purdue to go the length and then get a conversion. 

So we go for it.  Surprise, a run to the left side, Purdue knows it is coming, and Shonn can’t get out of the backfield.

It takes Purdue 4 plays to get to midfield, when finally someone on the Iowa D line decides to do something.  King slices through the O line and sacks Painter and forces Purdue to burn their final timeout with 38 seconds left.  3 more passes got it to our 27, but the Hail Mary was not to be.  In fact, Painter didn’t even get it into the end zone, overshooting the back end.

So it was not pretty but it was a win.  It would have been a travesty to lose that one and waste the effort by Greene.

Shonn, 30 carries, 211 yards, and the two tds.  And we needed all of them, as Stanzi could only go 8-15 for 72 yards on the day.  No turnovers, which is good, but when your running back is chewing up that kind of yardage, there have to be some wide open receivers if you run play action passes.  For his effort, he is the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week (again), and also the Sporting News Player of the Day.

Shonn was less behind Ringer than I thought, as when the dust had settled, he now leads the nation in total yards, with 1585.  37 yards ahead of Ringer, and 48 yards ahead of Brown.  Shonn is now just 106 shy of Tavian Bank’s Iowa record, and if he can get three rushing tds in our last two games (this one and bowl), he will own that one as well. 

While Shonn was making history, the Iowa defense was at least able to shut down Sheets, keeping him to just 53 total yards.  Yup, the 250+ we gave up in the air was not great, but at least we kept the spread contained when it counted. 

Nothing is certain until the BCS bowls are handed out, but the Hawks do indeed appear just one Kinnick North victory away from returning to New Year’s Day!

This Week: Minnesota
If you had any question if the Metrodome was really Kinnick North, let this answer it.  As of this writing (Tuesday) there are still tickets available. It’s your last home game, last game of the season, last game in the building, and one of your biggest rivals is coming in, yet it’s still not sold out.  Oh well, Iowa fans will snap them up, and the place will once again be nearly 50% Black and Gold.

You might recall the email from a few weeks back that I didn’t buy that the Gophers had really made it to the top of the Big Ten, despite their 7-1 start.  And yup, the past 3 weeks they have fallen to Northwestern, Michigan, and Wisconsin.  Saturday, blowing a 21-7 lead to the Badgers to lose 35-32.

They are capable of doing a few things well, namely forcing turnovers.  The 30 they have forced is best in Div. 1, and their +15 turnover ratio is good for 4th.  The Hawks have been stuck on the +3 the past few weeks, so this will be the key stat for the game, winning this battle.

They do have a up and coming QB in sophomore Weber, and again this week keeping him from gaining ground yardage will be a top priority.  Though he only nets 1.8 per carry, so if contained, he should not do much damage.  When taking to the air, his favorite target is Decker, who hauls them in at 12.1 for catch.  With the trouble the Hawks had with all those short passes last week, the defensive backfield must press on the snap, and the D line has got to spend some quality time in the offensive backfield.  When Kroul takes the field, he will have started his school record 49th straight game.  One more to go, and I doubt 50 will be topped for a very, very long time.

When Iowa has the ball, again, we must hang onto it, and Stanzi must continue to protect it as he did last week.  He should have his opportunities to go down field, and if the Rodents try to sell out to stop Shonn, he has got to do it early and often.

Not that I think they can do it.  Their rush defense is ranked #62, and gives up 140 per game.  Shonn will be warm, he will be making his cuts on turf, and that turf will also make him a bit faster in the pure speed department.  As it will all the Hawkeyes.

Iowa’s record in Kinnick North is 7-6.  A win Saturday and the building will forever be known as Kinnick North/Indoor.  TBD if the goal posts will still be standing.

The biggest question is this. Can Greene hang onto his total yardage lead?  Well Ringer has got to play in the frigid chill of Happy Valley, and the Lions sport the 10th best rush defense.  UConn has two games left, and Brown faces the 5th best rush defense in South Florida Saturday, and 30th best in Pitt in two weeks.  So I would say Shonn, go over 200 again and perhaps that might be enough!

I would expect the Rodents to make a good effort of it, as losing the Pig hurts, and closing out your building with a loss has got to suck.  But it’s not really their building and Gopher fans have long waited for the return of their campus stadium.  But as recent history has shown us, Saturday they must deal with more visiting fans than probably any other major program in the country, and with Shonn chewing up the turf it will be very loud.  And at times, not feel like a home game. 

Hawks pull away down the stretch, and then all we have to do is wait for that Florida invite. 

Well we got 2 out of 3 losses we needed last week, but we are greedy and want 4th alone, so we find ourselves in the downright depressing position of having to cheer for Illinois, they take on the Wildcats.  No bowl is going to pick a team who can never sell out their home stadium (Northwestern) over the bumble bee swarm.  But we still want to claim that 4 spot.  Go Illini (bangs head on desk).

The Iowa hoops team is now 2-0, but got a bit of a scare last night.  The 1st Hawkeye Hoops email will be out next week, and plan ahead for the 1st game watches, when Iowa plays at the Las Vegas Invite on Thanksgiving weekend.

And the Iowa Field Hockey team is now 2 wins away from their 1st national title since 1986!  The 4th seeded Hawkeyes have advanced to the semi-finals.  And they will have to earn it  - the other 3 teams, the 3 top seeds.

All right my Hawkeye friends, as some of you have heard, I will not be able to lead the Beer Song this week!  I will be back in Iowa City!  When – the Hawks are in the Twin Cities.  Ugh.  Since week 1 of 2002, the only times I have not been at Blondies were the times I was in a stadium watching the Hawks.  So Saturday will be strange and surreal.

I am going back for a wedding.  The best part – it’s at 6:00 (central). Kickoff!  Now, in defense of my good friends, when they booked this like 10 months ago, they figured there was no way Iowa Minnesota was going to be a night game.  Had they asked me, I would have said nope, noon for sure.  So imagine their surprise when the BTN picked it up at 7:00.  By then, it was too late!  Oh well, the ceremony will end, and the reception – is in the Kinnick press box. Where I do know, they have tvs!

Why You Should Watch The Iowa Games At Blondies Sports
  1. A room full of Iowans, and Quasi-Iowans.
  2. Iowa games in glorious audio – we control the bar side stereo.  That means you hear the game.  And the fight song.  ON IOWA.  The Beer Song.  Maybe a little Hawkeye radio audio from past dramatic games.
  3. A bar decked out in Hawkeye banners, flags, signs, etc. 
  4. It is a bar – meaning that once the game kicks off, you don’t have to drink Coke.  That is, unless you want to. 
  5. Speaking of audio…actual Hawkeye Marching Band alumni have been known to break out the brass and start jamming.
  6. Prizes.  From time to time, there will be raffles of cool Hawkeye gear.  
  7. Should the Hawks lose, you don’t have to drown your sorrows by yourself.  Pain is a drink best shared with friends.
  8. The best chicken wings in the City.  Extra napkins – required.
  9. It’s economical – the more fun you have at the bar, the less you can have on Saturday night.  Thus you save money on Saturday nights.
  10. Have cable?  No Big Ten Network for you, yet. The bar has DirecTV.



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